Priestly Ponderings December 2014


You hardly need me to remind you that it will be Christmas in a few weeks time, like it or not!  Whilst I enjoy the celebratory side to Christmas, as much as most folk do, I would always encourage you all to give some thought to the “Reason behind the Season”. In other words, think about Jesus and who this person was, born as the Christ Child.

 Let’s focus on the birth story that we celebrate in a few weeks time. Why Bethlehem?  Why Palestine?  Why not Rome, Paris or London?  These cities were more developed and communications were established.  But, no, God chose a very small insignificant village in a small corner of a barren part of the Middle East to engage with humanity through the birth of Christ. He was probably  born in some kind of cave amongst livestock. Why not chose a more significant, salubrious, developed and civilised place to achieve his objectives? Perhaps a palace amongst the rich would have been more fitting for the King of Kings!  We may never know for sure but simply surmise.  Maybe it was something to do with humble beginnings, identifying with the poor or being at the centre of the religious world of the day.

 Whatever God’s reasons may have been one thing is for sure, it worked! The birth of Christ changed the world. I invite you to reflect on these words of Dr James Allan Francis in a sermon he once wrote:

 19 centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress.

All the armies that ever marched,

All the navies that ever sailed,

All the parliaments that ever sat,

All the Kings that ever reigned,

Put together, have not affected the life of man on earth

As much as that One Solitary Life.

 Whether you are a Christian or not it is difficult to deny that Christ has shaped the world we live in like no other individual. This person’s solitary life has achieved so much.  So, amidst all the excitement, celebration and the eating and drinking of the Christmas season, give a little thought to the humble, poor and unusual beginnings of the “One Solitary Life” who has changed the world we live in today.

 None of this stops us enjoying ourselves. On the contrary, have a happy and holy Christmas this year!

God Bless                    Rev Jim



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